SECTION 11 – OTHER RULES

SECTION 11 – OTHER RULES

11.A.    New 2021: Double Hits. Balls can be hit twice, but this must occur during an unintentional, continuous, single-direction stroke, by one player. After the serve, if the stroke is deliberate, or not continuous or not in a single direction, or the ball is struck by a second player, it is a fault.

Double Hits. Balls can be hit twice, but this must occur during an unintentional, continuous, single-direction stroke, by one player. If the stroke is deliberate, or not continuous or not in a single direction, or the ball is struck by a second player, it is a fault.

Reason: This change specifies that double hit faults shall only be called after the serve occurs. Since the ball is live at the start of the score call, this change allows for normal bouncing of the ball on the paddle without an associated fault.

11.B.      Switching Hands. A paddle may be switched from hand to hand at any time.

11.C.      Two-Handed Shots. Two-handed shots are allowed.

11.D.      Missed Shot. A player completely missing the ball when attempting to strike it does not create a dead ball. The ball remains in play until it bounces twice or until any other fault has occurred.

11.E.       New 2021:  Broken or Cracked Ball. If a referee is present, players may appeal to the referee before the serve occurs to determine if a ball is broken or cracked. If the appeal is before the serve occurs, the referee will call “Time”, inspect the ball, and either replace it or return it into play. the referee will recall the score. In non-officiated matches, players may replace a cracked ball before the serve occurs. If any player suspects the ball is or becomes cracked after the serve, play must continue until the end of the rally. If, in the judgment of the referee, a broken or cracked ball impacted the outcome of a rally, the referee will call for a replay with a replacement ball. In non-officiated play, if the players do not agree that a cracked ball impacted the outcome of the rally, the rally stands as played.

Broken or Cracked Ball. Play continues until the end of the rally. Players may appeal to the referee before the service motion starts to determine if a ball is broken or cracked so it can be replaced. If, in the judgment of the referee, a broken or cracked ball impacted the outcome of a rally, the referee will call for a replay with a replacement ball. In non-officiated play, if the players do not agree, the rally stands as played.

Reason: This change further explains what procedures are available if a ball is suspected of being cracked or broken. It outlines the steps to take in both officiated and non-officiated matches. It also maintains the goal of a consistent point-in-time when an action is allowed which is the serve of the ball. This rule also states what will happen if an appeal happens after the serve has happened.

Scenario A: After the referee calls the score, the serving team looks at the ball inspecting for cracks. While still looking at the ball, the 10-second count expires and the referee calls a fault on the server.

Scenario B: Same as scenario A, but just before the 10-second count expires the server says, “Hey ref, I think this ball is cracked.” The receiving team claims that the 10-second count had expired and that the server had faulted. the referee informs the receiving team that the serving team had started their appeal (by saying, “Hey”) before the count had expired. the referee either: A) sees the ball is cracked, replaces it, and recalls the score, or B) determines the ball is not cracked and gives it to the serving team and recalls the score.

11.F.    Injury During rally. The rally continues to its conclusion despite an injury to any of the players.

11.G.      Player Equipment Problem. A rally will not be stopped if a player loses or breaks a paddle or loses an item, unless the action results in a fault.

11.H.   Items on the Court. If any item a player is/was wearing or carrying lands on their side of the Court, unless the item lands in the non-volley zone as a result of a volley, the ball remains in play even if it hits the item.

11.I.    New 2021:  Plane of the Net. Crossing the Plane of the Net prior to striking the ball is a fault. After striking the ball, a player or anything the player is/was wearing or carrying may cross the Plane of the Net. The player may not touch any part of the net system, the opponent’s Court, or the opponent while the ball is still in play.

Plane of the Net. After striking the ball, a player or anything the player is/was wearing or carrying may cross the Plane of the Net or the imaginary extension line of the net beyond the posts but may not touch any part of the net system, the opponent’s Court, or the opponent while the ball is still in play.

Reason: This change clearly states that a violation of this rule is a fault. It further clarifies that touching the opponent’s Court, the net system, or the opponent is a fault only if the ball is still live and in play. While there is much debate over a player having an opportunity to “finish their shot” after they have crossed the plane, the opponents still maintain a “Right of Way” to be anywhere on their side of the net at all times. While a player is allowed to cross the plane under certain conditions, the player crossing the plane does not have more “right” to the opponent’s Court space (and associated air space) than their opponent has.

Scenario A: Player A runs towards the end of the net and hits a legal around-the-post (ATP) shot. His momentum then takes him past the Plane of the Net (legally) in the out-of-bounds area. He does not touch the opponent, opponent’s Court or the net system at any time. As he is hurrying to get back to his side of the net, the opponent hits the ball towards him. The ball crosses the Plane of the Net heading towards Player A. Player A, who’s body has *almost* completely crossed back to his side of the net, then volley’s the ball and does not touch his NVZ. At the moment Player A contacts the ball, his foot was still across the Plane of the Net on the opponent’ side of the Court. the referee calls a crossing the plane fault because part of the hitter’s body was beyond the net plane when he hit the ball. Note: While the player had legally crossed the plane on the prior shot, in executing the current shot, part of the player’s body was still across the Plane of the Net when contact was made.

Scenario B: Player A crosses the plane legally after an ATP shot. The player seems to “take their time” in getting back to his side of the net. the referee should NOT call a fault due to the abnormal amount of time the player took in getting back to his side as there is no written guideline to do so. If Player A caused a distraction to the opponent while on their side of the net, then the referee should call a fault immediately.

11.I.1. New 2021:  Exception: If the ball bounces into a receiving player’s Court with enough backspin or wind aid to cause it to return back over the net, the receiving player may cross the Plane of the Net (over, under or around the net post) to hit the ball. It is a fault if the receiving player (or anything the receiving player is wearing or carrying) crosses the Plane of the Net before the ball has first crossed back over the Plane of the Net to the opponent’s side. It is a fault if the player touches the net system, the opponent’s Court, or the opponent while the ball is still in play.

Exception: If the ball bounces into a receiving player’s Court with enough backspin or wind aid to cause it to return back over the net, the receiving player may reach over the net, around the net post or under the net to hit the ball, but only after the ball crosses back over the Plane of the Net to the opponent’s side. It is a fault if the player touches the net system or the opponent’s Court while the ball is still in play. If the player does not touch the ball, the team that last struck the ball wins the rally.

Reason: To firmly reinforce that the ball MUST travel back across the Plane of the Net before a player is allowed to cross the plane to contact the ball. It also removed the word “reach” and replaced it with “cross” to more accurately align with 11.I.

Scenario: Player A hits a ball with backspin to Player B. The ball bounces in Player B’s Court and then travels back across the Plane of the Net to the side of Player A. Player B then legally crosses the Plane of the Net to hit a winning shot, but before the ball becomes dead, Player B contacts Player A (who is standing on their own side of the net) with his paddle. A fault shall be called on player B. Note: While a player is allowed to cross the Plane of the Net under certain circumstances, this “allowed crossing” must still follow other rules. In this scenario, while the player did cross the plane legally, they cannot contact the opponent/opponent’s Court/net system in doing so.

11.J.     Distractions. Players may not distract an opponent when the opponent is about to play the ball. If in the judgment of the referee a distraction has occurred, the referee shall immediately call a fault on the offending team.

11.K.     New 2021: The Net Posts. The Net Posts (including connected wheels, arms, or other support construction) are positioned out of bounds. It is a fault if a player contacts the net post while the ball is in play.

The Net Posts. The Net Posts (including connected wheels, arms, or other support construction) are positioned out of bounds. If a ball or player contacts the net post while the ball is in play, it is a fault and a dead ball will be declared.

Reason: This change is in conjunction with the modification of rule 8.D. and removes any ambiguity concerning a ball that hits the net post (or support structure) after it has bounced in the opponent’s Court. In Rule 8.D., the hitting player has not committed a fault but rather has won the rally.

11.K.1.   A ball contacting the net, the net cable, or rope between the Net Posts remains in play.

11.L.       The Net.

11.L.1.   The net and the wires or strings holding up the net are positioned (mostly) on the Court. Therefore, if the ball strikes the top of the net or strikes the top net wire or string and lands inbounds, it remains in play.

11.L.2.   If the ball travels between the net and the net post, it is a fault against the striking player.

11.L.3.   A player is allowed to go around the net post and cross the imaginary extension line of the net after hitting the ball, so long as the player or any item he or she is/was wearing or carrying does not touch the opponent’s Court. If the player goes around the net post and crosses the imaginary extension line of the net but does not make contact with the ball, a fault will be declared.

11.L.4.  New 2021: If a player hits the ball over the net into the opponent’s Court, and then the ball bounces back over the net and bounces a second time without being touched by the opponent, the striking player wins the rally.

If a player hits the ball over the net into the opponent’s Court, and then the ball bounces back over the net without being touched by the opponent, the striking player wins the rally.

Reason: This solidifies that the ball must bounce twice and become dead for the rally to have ended.

11.L.5.   For net systems with a horizontal bar that includes a center base:

11.L.5.a. New 2021: Before going over the net, if the ball hits the horizontal bar or the center base, it is a fault.

If the ball hits the horizontal bar or the center base before going over the net, it is a fault.

Reason: This small change in the order of the sentence clarifies that the ball does not have to eventually go over the net for a fault to be called.

11.L.5.b. New 2021: Except on the serve, if the ball goes over the net and hits the center base, or any part of the horizontal bar, or the ball gets caught between the net and the horizontal bar, a replay will be called. Other than on the serve, if the ball goes over the net and bounces on the Court and then performs any of the 3 above listed actions, a replay shall occur.

Other than on the serve, if the ball goes over the net and hits the center base or any part of the horizontal bar or the ball gets caught between the net and the horizontal bar before, or after, touching the Court, it is a let and will be replayed.

Reason: To clarify that this rule applies to balls that have bounced on the Court as well as balls that have only crossed over the net.

11.L.5.c.  On the serve, if the ball hits the horizontal bar or the center base or gets caught between the net and horizontal bar after going over the net, it is a fault.

11.L.5.d. Any malfunction of a net system during play shall be considered a hinder.

11.M.  Shots Around the Net Post. A player may return the ball around the outside of the net post.

11.M.1.  The ball does not need to travel back over the net.

11.M.2.  There is no restriction on the height of the return, meaning a player may return the ball around the net post below the height of the net.

11.N.   New 2021: One Paddle. A player shall not use or carry more than one paddle during a rally. A violation of this rule is a fault.

One Paddle. A player shall not use or carry more than one paddle while playing.

Reason: To clarify specifically that during a rally, a player can only have one paddle for use. It further clarifies that any violation of this rule is a fault; as with all other violations of Section 11 rules.

11.O.  New 2021:  Paddle Possession. A player must have possession of the paddle when it makes contact with the ball. A violation of this rule is a fault.

Paddle Possession. A player must have possession of the paddle when it makes contact with the ball.

Reason: This change was made to be consistent with all other Section 11 rules and specifically stipulating that a fault shall be applied if the rule is violated.

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